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February 9, 2012 / carlispina

Tagxedo – Style Your Word Clouds

While Wordle is a great resource for quick word clouds from blocks of text and certain other sources, other resources allow users to create even more complex text representations. Tagxedo is one such option. It not only offers easy options to pull text from many different sources, but also allows users to format their word clouds in a wide range of shapes. If the provided images don’t meet your needs, users also have the option to upload their own image. The features in Tagxedo meet virtually every need a user could ever think of in creating a word cloud. For more advanced word clouds, Tagxedo is a good option to give the user more complete control over the final word cloud.

For users that want to make a word cloud out of web content, the Tagxedo homepage offers several quick options. By simply filling out a brief form, users can generate a word cloud of content pulled from a URL, an RSS feed, a Twitter account, a Del.icio.us ID, news items or a web search. Once a content source is selected, users are also given options regarding shape, font, theme and text direction. This form of word cloud takes a matter of moments. I was able to create this word cloud from words used in my tweets in under two minutes. But, even though this is a great option, it only scratches the surface of what Tagxedo has to offer.

By instead opting to create their own word cloud, users are able to access a far wider array of options. In this mode, users can load content from a website, a file that they upload or by entering text into the provided text box. Once text is loaded, the user can alter the same options that were discussed above as part of the quick use form, but also has access to additional options. Users can then choose from over 100 provided shapes beyond a traditional word cloud and can even upload their own image. Advanced options allow users to decide whether similar words are combined and whether punctuation, numbers and common words are omitted as well as giving users control over opacity, scatter and background color.

Once a word cloud is complete, it can be exported, shared or printed. Users can also zoom in on their cloud, view it as full screen and change the color. And, hovering over any word in the cloud prompts an animation effect that pops the word out, which is a nice added feature. Word clouds that have been created are also stored in history so that users can refer back to them. Tagxedo offers a host of unique features that make it well worth checking out if you are looking for more advanced word cloud options.

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